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Mahatma Gandhi to Indira Gandhi…Indian politicians whose untimely deaths sparked controversies

Like politics of other countries, Indian politics is also painted with the blood of several leaders. There is a big list of such leaders whose deaths sparked uneasy controversies among them include assassinations of two former prime Ministers of India. One that of India Gandhi and the second one was that of Rajeev Gandhi who was tipped to be country’s Prime –Minister for the second terms.

There exists an endless number of other political personalities in India who’s untimely and unfateful murders have remained unresolved mysteries till now and where we have found peeping holes in the system which brags a lot about its impartiality, however, reality being that our judiciary has taken much time in bringing the guilty to book and dispensing justice.

There are several murder mysteries which also include several controversial deaths involving big-wig personalities who also include a person of the stature of the Prime -Minister to a freedom fighter like Gandhi, all have remained shrouded in mystery as our judicial system could either book the real culprits or could settle matters by punishing those who were either a part of the conspiracy or who only executed the crime.

A case in point is Nathu Ram Godse who could be punished as he was directly involved in Gandhi’s murder. However, a few others who were indirectly involved in hatching a conspiracy in killing Gandhi could not be punished. It is a well –known fact that Hindu nationalist Nathu Ram Godse killed him as they considered him a veritable reason for creation of an another country like Pakistan. Though, the main accused in the case, Nathuram Godse was hanged in year 1949 after he was overpowered by the people who had gathered along with Gandhi holding a prayer at New Delhi’s Birla Temple on January 30, 1948 .

Only after 18 years of his death, a one-man commission consisting Jiwan Lal Kapoor could be constituted in the year 1966 to make further probe into the case which explicitly shows, how fragile is our system. Justice Thakkar Commission of Inquiry which was headed by Justice Manharlal Pranlal Thakkar was constituted to probe Gandhi’s assassination and recommended a separate probe for the conspiracy angle behind the assassination.

There are many cases of such controversial murder and death cases which were politically motivated and where real face of criminal couldn’t be brought ahead and remaining unnoticed and far from the clutches of police as well of judiciary.

The instance of conspiracy in the deaths of Congress’s emerging faces like those of Sanjay Gandhi and Dr YS Rajashekhara Reddy though one time considered an accidental one, however, there were many who smelled a conspiracy in the manner in which they died.

Here is a list of some prominent Indian political leaders who met tragic deaths, however, their deaths remained shrouded in controversy.

Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case

The first such a case was that of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated on January 30, 1948 in the compound of Birla House which is called now Gandhi Smriti. He was killed at age 78 in central New Delhi by Nathuram Vinayak Godse, who hailed from Pune, Maharashtra and was a Hindu nationalist.

Godse was also a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, as well as a former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu paramilitary organization. Though, one of the accused Nathuram Godse who was directly involved in the case, however, the court took 19 more years to probe the conspiracy and only in 1966, a one –man commission called Jivan Lal Kapoor commission could be constituted to expose the case explicitly. However, what and how much that commission has fulfilled its obligations, everybody knows very well.

Indira Gandhi Murder Case

Another high profile murder of a tall figure leader was that of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was assassinated on 31 October 1984 at her residence in New Delhi by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star. Though, both of them were hanged but a few other high profile leaders like Rk Dhawan, Suman Dubey couldn’t be made accused in the case, as the probing agency couldn’t find substantial proof of the thing that they were not directly linked to the case.

A long spell of time has passed but the main culprits didn’t either come under the clutch of police or judiciary which casts shadow on these two vital organ’s ability as well as their in-efficiency to resurrect a system which demands an overhauling for a long time.

Justice Thakkar who probed the event concluded that a separate Commission of Inquiry is appointed to investigate the conspiracy behind the assassination. He wrote that “the needle of suspicion” pointed against RK Dhawan who was Indira Gandhi’s aide and who stood closest to her when she died.

Sanjay Gandhi Death Case

Another mystery involves Congress party’s once top order politician Sanjay Gandhi who died in an aircraft crash near Delhi’s Safdarjung airport. According to the eyewitness reports, at the time of this accident, younger Gandhi who was also a daredevil pilot was doing acrobatics with his small aircraft, when it plunged down, there were many who smelled conspiracy behind this crash. Many of them are of this belief that Sanjay, who wielded unbelievable dominance over Indira Gandhi’s government, had his own set of enemies in politics, who plotted his death.
However, these cases are just pointers to the fact that there are leaking holes in our system which has not been able to bring facts before the public who today wants to know as to how our great freedom fighter like Subhash Chandra Bose about whom the then Congress Government confirmed his death occurring in an aeroplane accident, however, during the present NDA Government, many hidden facts about the thing that in which circumstances Subhas Chandra Bose died and whether he had become a victim of political conspiracy.

Question arises here as to why the former governments went to sleep over a matter which involved a person like Subhash Bose despite his relatives making request to the Central Government to make further probe in the case and bring back Neta jee’s a few belongings to India. Was it not pertinent for the former governments in power to constitute a commission to look deep into this matter.

Recently, while availing the Right to Information, journo Anuj Dhar put his query in the Right to Information (RTI) Act M Anuj Dhar about a secret document related to the unexplained death of the late Lal Bahadur Shastri, he drew a blank when The PMO though not denying the existence of the secret document refused to release it on the plea that it could harm foreign relations, provoke disruption in the country and cause breach of parliamentary privilege.

In other words, such a case of paramount importance can expose the government’s lies spoken in parliament when the Opposition parties grilled the Centre to reveal the truth behind Shastri’s death. A few political experts are even of the view that the Indian Government while fearing a backlash from a country which is our closest ally kept silence over the matter. Question rises here, was doing so was going to harm our foreign relations.

It is another thing that the circumstances surrounding Shastri’s death in Tashkent had stoked nationwide controversy. Indira‘s one of the guards, Kehar Singh who despite being an innocent person was put to the gallows in order to close the case under a cover-up plan.

Later, Gandhi’s elder son, Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated. His death too reeked of unexplained mysteries. It has yet not been explained by which conduits the LTTE suicide bomber succeeded in penetrating Congress circles to commit the murder. It is being said the suicide bomber was the tenant in a house which owned by a Congress leader and was accompanied to the scene of the crime by the Congress leader’s daughter.

The death of Subhash Bose was the first among a series of mysterious deaths of leaders of national stature that created a dramatic change in politics. In truth, there is only one monstrous conspiracy in which the politicians, the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the media in fact members of the entire corrupt and contemptible ruling class are involved. And that is the conspiracy of silence. It has allowed the full truth to be buried without relevant questions being satisfactorily explained.

Apart from approaching lackadaisically to the things like probing the murders of big personalities, our system has preferred to sleep over a host of scandals, which includes Bofors case, Jain Hawala case, HDW Submarines case, Babri Masjid demolition case, and Volker case where truth has never come out.

Facts about the damaging allegation, made by a member of the Soviet Commission that probed Sonia Gandhi receiving KGB funds have not been either contested by the ruling government or the Congress Party which Gandhi family heads.

Lalit Narayan Mishra Assassination Case

As Minister of Railways, Lalit Narayan Mishra visited Samastipur on 2 January 1975 to declare the Samastipur-Darbhanga broad gauge railway line open. A bomb explosion on the dais seriously injured him. He was rushed to the railway hospital at Danapur, where he died the next day. It is said that he also became a victim of political rivalry and therefore, Indira Gandhi who was heading her Government chose to sleep over the matter and his death still remains shrouded in mystery.

Anjani Kumar
Anjani Kumar

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